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railgun or ion cannon
Old 01 Nov 2008, 16:23   #1 (permalink)
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Default railgun or ion cannon

ok, i have a tournament sunday, and i will probably take a railgun, but my question is what would you take if you had no idea what you would be against, and why?
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Old 01 Nov 2008, 16:31   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

well, I always run a Railhead because it gives you much greater versatility. If you want to kill MEQs, get three Sniper Drone Teams or a Skyray. I will admit that the ion cannon may be a bit more useful due to its 60" range, mobility (opposed to the SDT), and infinite shots (opposed to the skyray). However, it remains much less accurate than a Skyray (striking at BS5) and has less volume of fire than 2 sniper drone teams which are about the same cost. It honestly depends on how many railguns/fusion cannons the rest of your army has. If you already have 2 railheads, making the third a ion cannon could be an effective way of keeping mobility (since SDT's are static and Skyrays need markerlights which, for the most part, are static).
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Old 01 Nov 2008, 16:32   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

What size is this tournament, in 1500 point battles I'll take two hammerheads with railguns, in larger battles of 2000 points or more I'll take two hammerheads and one ion head.

I take the railguns as they are awsome. They can pop monoliths for breakfast, and obliterate squads of infantry, I add in the Ion head for some extra marine killing power and for taking out light AV10 vehicles that I'm not wasting a rail slug on.

I never take broadsides though, as my entire army is mounted, and can move at least 12" a turn.
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Old 01 Nov 2008, 17:05   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

It depends what you are fighting - Ion is immense against LV's -you get 3 strength 7 shots hitting on 3's, while the Rail head just gets 1 shot. So the Rail Head has a 1 in 3 chance of missing its target and doing nothing (if it hits though it will destroy its target) while the Ion will hit twice (on average) and then needs a 3 or 4 to penetrate. If we talking averages a Ion is always better against LV's because it is virtually guaranteed a roll on the vehicle damage table.

Rail is much much better against Heavy Armour (it has a far greater chance of destroying it) and the submuntion is more versatile against horde armies (Nids/Orks etc).

Ion is arguably better against MC's though, it has a higher rate of fire and will wound on 3's or 4's (forcing armour saves, or negating them with its AP3), while a Rail only has 1 shot, its more likely to wound, but will only do 1 wound.

So if you have 3 Rail Heads firing on a MC, 2 will hit (average) and these 2 should (theoretically) cause 2 Wounds. 3 Ions firing will hit 6 times, wound 4 times (against toughness 6) and if the target has a 3 plus save cause 4 wounds - if a 2 plus save, than probably just 1 wound. They will mow down things like the Tyrant Guard however (which normally gives a Tyrant Coversaves on top now) and will force it to make lots of 4+ Coversaves if it is in cover).

Generally it depends how my list is set up - If I have a couple of Fusion equipped XV8's I will generally go for 2 Ion Heads and 1 Hammer Head's - The rail is more killy, but only has 1 shot and is best used against Heavy Armour/Vehicles while the Ion is much better against LV's and MC's. Ion is also 35 Pts Cheaper!

Depends on what armies you face and your style of play I guess,
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Old 01 Nov 2008, 17:24   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

In a take-all-comers list you should always take a railhead, since it's so versatile. Take crisis suits for MEQ and LV killers, and use the rail to kill Sv 4 or higher infantry and heavy vehicles.
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Old 01 Nov 2008, 18:39   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

I like the versitility of the Railhead too as you can use it as a tank killer or a blast radius. That is if you are just picking between the Ion and the Rail. Good luck at your tourney!!
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Old 01 Nov 2008, 22:28   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

take a railhead always, with the new 5th edition rules your ion head because almost obsolete, here's why.
You target for an Ionhead has to be MEQ models that are more expensive tan basic MEQ's in order for it to have any chance of making its points back, IE Devistators/Bikers/Assault marines. Now with all the extra cover available to everyone you lose the only advantage an ion cannon has, AP3. with all this cover its not very much better than a missile pod. Missile pods are the same strength, and decent range, the only difference is that they will be taking saves on 4+ instead of 3+. Now this is not a big enough difference to justify taking up 1 of our three precious Heavy slots, which is where our most competitive Units are.

Overview - take 2 deathrains instead they will land more shots on average 3 instead of 2 which makes them better at killing light tanks, give you the exact same amount of MEQ kills as an ion cannon shooting some one in cover (which they will be) are cheaper 90ish compared to 120ish and most importantly don't use up one of your Heavy slots.

Its a great shame because i love my Ionhead the weapon is really cool, just in this new edition of rules with cover everywhere far under powered, A anti infantry tank that on average kills a whole marine a turn on average >.

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Old 01 Dec 2008, 21:57   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

Question: is there any way that marines (ultra marines specifically) could cause a submunition shot to scatter?

I am being opposed by someone who, for lack of a better way to say it has played warhammer since it was in its initial game testing stages (or eternity). and therefore would know every codex by heart, and all of the ways to thwart an opponent.

(I can't imagine the physics behind a rail gun shot scattering but would hate to find out the hard way)

my objective is to destroy 5 Scientist squads
2 2 3 3 1 2 1 6 6+
and I thought that even well protected they are still susceptible to submunitions and rockets.
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Old 01 Dec 2008, 22:17   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

Submunitions scatters anyway...
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Old 01 Dec 2008, 22:26   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: railgun or ion cannon

Originally Posted by hardcore
Question: is there any way that marines (ultra marines specifically) could cause a submunition shot to scatter?
Why would a specific army cause railguns to scatter? Unfortunately, submunitions do scatter, because of the 5th ed rules regarding blast weapons...however...

Originally Posted by Saracen
(I can't imagine the physics behind a rail gun shot scattering but would hate to find out the hard way)
I completely agree with you. If a railgun fires a solid slug at hypersonic speeds, it stands to reason that it would reach its target in a very very small amount of time, during which their would be little chance for something like the wind to push it off course more than a few centimeters, and only if the wind ws blowing really hard.

There should be a rule when (if-*cough* *cough*) that a railgun submunition round scatters D6"-1"-BS, or something like that. It would be more realistic...but then again, this is GW and 40k we're talking about...
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